Hello all! I am here with my post for the Alone by Cyn Balog Blog Tour! I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book off Netgalley and read it so thank you Netgalley and SourcebooksFire for giving me the opportunity to check this book out before it’s release date!
You’ve all heard me mention this book and how I’m reading it so now you get to see my thoughts down below!
But I’ll leave a few links for Cyn so that you can check out her books or just more about her in general.
Goodreads: Author Goodreads Page
Website: Author Website
Twitter: Cyn Balog Twitter
I also have the opportunity to share with you a giveaway on Rafflecopter for a chance to win a copy of Unnatural Deeds! I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while so hopefully you all enter to win and tell me how good it is so I can finally get my butt in gear and buy it!
Summary: Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, not that she cares what anyone thinks. She and her homeschooled boyfriend, Andrew, are inseparable. All they need is each other. That is, until Zachary Zimmerman joins her homeroom. Within an hour of meeting, he convinces good-girl Vic to cut class. And she can’t get enough of that rush.
Despite Vic’s loyalty to Andrew, she finds her life slowly entwining with Z’s. Soon she’s lying to everyone she knows and breaking all the rules to be with Z. She can’t get enough of him—or unraveling the stories of the family he’s determined to keep hidden.
Except Z’s not the only one with a past. Straight-laced Vic is hiding her own secrets…secrets that are about to destroy everything in her path.
Giveaway link here: Giveaway!
Alone by Cyn Balog
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: November 7th, 2017
Summary: When her mom inherits an old, crumbling mansion, Seda’s almost excited to spend the summer there. The grounds are beautiful and it’s fun to explore the sprawling house with its creepy rooms and secret passages. Except now her mom wants to renovate, rather than sell the estate—which means they’re not going back to the city…or Seda’s friends and school.
As the days grow shorter, Seda is filled with dread. They’re about to be cut off from the outside world, and she’s not sure she can handle the solitude or the darkness it brings out in her.
Then a group of teens get stranded near the mansion during a blizzard. Seda has no choice but to offer them shelter, even though she knows danger lurks in the dilapidated mansion—and in herself. And as the snow continues to fall, what Seda fears most is about to become her reality…
Cyn Balog really has an interesting writing style! She also writes really creepy settings and stories! This one involved a teenage girl, stuck living with her family in a old tourist murder house in the middle of nowhere. All she wants is to go home and be with her friends and civilization, but that doesn’t look to be happening anytime soon. And this book is like a retelling of The Shining, which is one of my favorite movies so I was really excited when I started!
It didn’t let down!
While she seems to be a normal girl, in her mind resides what we believe to be her dead brother. As a unborn baby in her mother’s womb she was able to live, while her unborn twin brother died inside. So the whole idea is that her brother is in her head, telling her to do bad things to people, and she feels that he is getting stronger no matter what she does or how hard she tries she’s losing control of him in her head.
I thought that part was super interesting and so creepy! That she had someone trying to wreck havoc from inside her body, causing her to do it.
I got so many chills reading it, and I think the main reason it took me a while to read is because I would be so busy during the day and wouldn’t be able to read until later at night but I would get creeped out so so I wouldn’t want to read it and be scared. So I finally made time during the days and read it!
It’s honestly hard to read this book because I feel like reviewing this book and going into details could really give something away. This book is one of those books that you might get more out of it if you’re shocked and don’t really know much about it. But I’ll do my best for you all!
The action and really spooky stuff starts to happen once Seda let’s people stay in her carriage house after their car breaks down nearby in the snow. Her mother eventually lets them stay in the house to stay, and since Seda’s birthday is almost upon them they play a game. Her mother suggests a murder mystery game, and you start to wonder if the people who die are actually just playing along.
I have to say I really didn’t like Liam. He was just really mean and rude, and I didn’t like him calling people trailer trash. That was really a bit unnecessary in my opinion. It didn’t affect my opinion of the book, but I just didn’t like how nasty he was.
I honestly would have given it a full 5 starts but I just felt that some aspects of the book were a bit confusing, and I wasn’t fully sure how I liked the ending. I didn’t expect it, but at the same time I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I just recently finished it and I’m still not sure how I liked it.
That twist though…woah! Wasn’t expecting it at all. I knew this book would have a twist but had no idea it would affect me that much! I was blown away by that!
Overall it was definitely a creepy read, and something many people would like I feel! If you’re into all the creepy books you should try picking this book up. I loved it’s similarities to The Shining, and how it brought it’s own strengths to the table. The unreliable narrator in Seda was just perfect and I feel that Cyn is just an awesome storyteller. Highly recommend this!
Also check out this excerpt of the book below!
Excerpt from Alone:
Sometimes I dream I am drowning.
Sometimes I dream of bloated faces, bobbing on the surface of misty waters.
And then I wake up, often screaming, heart racing, hands clenching fistfuls of my sheets.
I’m in my bed at the top of Bug House. The murky daylight casts dull prisms from my snow globes onto the attic floor. My mom started collecting those pretty winter scenes for me when I was a baby. I gaze at them, lined neatly on the shelf in front of my window. My first order of business every day is hoping they’ll give me a trace of the joy they did when I was a kid.
But either they don’t work that way anymore, or I don’t.
Who am I kidding? It’s definitely me.
I’m insane. Batshit. Nuttier than a fruitcake. Of course, that’s not an official diagnosis. The official word from Dr. Batton, whose swank Copley Square office I visited only once when I was ten, was that I was bright and intelligent and a wonderful young person. He said it’s normal for kids to have imaginary playmates.
But it gets a little sketchy when that young person grows up, and her imaginary friend decides to move in and make himself comfortable.
Not that anyone knows about that. No, these days, I’m good about keeping up appearances.
My second order of business each day is hoping that he won’t leak into my head. That maybe I can go back to being a normal sixteen–year–old girl.
But he always comes.
He’s a part of me, after all. And he’s been coming more and more, invading my thoughts. Of course I’m here, stupid.
Sawyer. His voice in my mind is so loud that it drowns out the moaning and creaking of the walls around me.
“Seda, honey?” my mother calls cheerily. She shifts her weight on the bottom step, making the house creak more. “Up and at ’em, buckaroo!”
I force my brother’s taunts away and call down the spiral staircase, “I am up.” My short temper is because of him, but it ends up directed at her.
She doesn’t notice though. My mother has only one mood now: ecstatically happy. She says it’s the air up here, which always has her taking big, deep, monster breaths as if she’s trying to inhale the entire world into her lungs. But maybe it’s because this is her element; after all, she made a profession out of her love for all things horror. Or maybe she really is better off without my dad, as she always claims she is.
I hear her whistling “My Darlin’ Clementine” as her slippered feet happily scuffle off toward the kitchen. I put on the first clothing I find in my drawer—-sweatpants and my mom’s old Boston College sweatshirt—-then scrape my hair into a ponytail on the top of my head as I look around the room. Mannequin body parts and other macabre props are stored up here. It’s been my bedroom for only a month. I slept in the nursery with the A and Z twins when we first got here because they were afraid of ghosts and our creepy old house. But maybe they—-like Mom—-are getting used to this place?
The thought makes me shudder. I like my attic room because of the privacy. Plus, it’s the only room that isn’t ice cold, since all the heat rises up to me. But I don’t like much else about this old prison of a mansion.
One of the props, Silly Sally, is sitting in the rocker by the door as I leave. She’d be perfect for the ladies’ department at Macy’s if it weren’t for the gaping chest wound in her frilly pink blouse. “I hate you,” I tell her, batting at the other mannequin body parts descending from the rafters like some odd canopy. She smiles as if the feeling is mutual. I give her a kick on the way out.
Despite the morbid stories about this place, I don’t ever worry about ghosts. After all, I have Sawyer, and he is worse.
As I climb down the stairs, listening to the kids chattering in the nursery, I notice the money, accompanied by a slip of paper, on the banister’s square newel post. The car keys sit atop the pile. Before I can ask, Mom calls, “I need you to go to the store for us. OK, Seda, my little kumquat?”
I blink, startled, and it’s not because of the stupid nickname. I don’t have a license, just a learner’s permit. My mom had me driving all over the place when we first came here, but that was back then. Back when this was a simple two–week jaunt to get an old house she’d inherited ready for sale. There wasn’t another car in sight, so she figured, why not? She’s all about giving us kids experiences, about making sure we aren’t slaves to our iPhones, like so many of my friends back home. My mother’s always marching to her own drummer, general consensus be damned, usually to my horror. But back then, I had that thrilling, invincible, first–days–of–summer–vacation feeling that made anything seemed possible. Too bad that was short lived.
We’ve been nestled at Bug House like hermits for months. Well, that’s not totally true. Mom has made weekly trips down the mountain, alone, to get the mail and a gallon of milk and make phone calls to civilization. We were supposed to go back to Boston before school started, but that time came and went, and there’s no way we’re getting off this mountain before the first snow.
I peer out the window. The first dainty flakes are falling from the sky.
Snow. Oh God. Snow.
That’s all I have for now so once again thank you to Sourcebooks Fire, and Netgalley for this awesome book! Let me know down below your thoughts and if you plan to read it and I’ll see you all in my next post!